by Max Lucado
How kind are you? What is your kindness quotient? When was the last time you did something kind for someone in your familyâ€”e.g., got a blanket, cleaned off the table, prepared the coffeeâ€”without being asked?
Think about your school or workplace. Which person is the most overlooked or avoided? A shy student? A grumpy employee? Maybe he doesnâ€™t speak the language. Maybe she doesnâ€™t fit in. Are you kind to this person?
Kind hearts are quietly kind. They let the car cut into traffic and the young mom with three kids move up in the checkout line. They pick up the neighborâ€™s trash can that rolled into the street. And they are especially kind at church. They understand that perhaps the neediest person theyâ€™ll meet all week is the one standing in the foyer or sitting on the row behind them in worship. Paul writes: â€œWhen we have the opportunity to help anyone, we should do it. But we should give special attention to those who are in the family of believersâ€? (Galatians 6:10).
And, here is a challengeâ€”what about your enemies? With the boss who fired you or the wife who left you. Suppose you surprised them with kindness? Not easy? No, itâ€™s not. But mercy is the deepest gesture of kindness. Paul equates the two. â€œBe kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave youâ€? (Ephesians 4:32 NKJV).
Love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you.â€¦ If you love only the people who love you, what praise should you get? â€¦ [L]ove your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without hoping to get anything back. Then you will have a great reward, and you will be children of the Most High God, because he is kind even to people who are ungrateful and full of sin. Show mercy, just as your Father shows mercy. (Luke 6:27â€“28, 32, 35â€“36)
Kindness at home. Kindness in public. Kindness at church and kindness with your enemies. Pretty well covers the gamut, donâ€™t you think? Almost. Someone else needs your kindness. Who could that be? You.
Since he is so kind to us, canâ€™t we be a little kinder to ourselves? Oh, but you donâ€™t know me, Max. You donâ€™t know my faults and my thoughts. You donâ€™t know the gripes I grumble and the complaints I mumble. No, I donâ€™t, but he does. He knows everything about you, yet he doesnâ€™t hold back his kindness toward you. Has he, knowing all your secrets, retracted one promise or reclaimed one gift?
No, he is kind to you. Why donâ€™t you be kind to yourself? He forgives your faults. Why donâ€™t you do the same? He thinks tomorrow is worth living. Why donâ€™t you agree? He believes in you enough to call you his ambassador, his follower, even his child. Why not take his cue and believe in yourself?
Be kind to yourself. God thinks youâ€™re worth his kindness. And heâ€™s a good judge of character.
You can comment on this devotional online at:
From: A Love Worth Giving
Copyright (Thomas Nelson, 2002)
Used by permission
To learn more about Max Lucado visit his website at: